After ending up second in the league and even losing out to Mumbai City FC in the finals, ATK Mohun Bagan have already started to bring in reinforcements for the upcoming Indian Super League season. The Mariners have already secured the services of Hyderabad FC sensation Liston Colaco and now they are all set to sign NorthEast United fullback Ashutosh Mehta.
Mehta who has recently made his Indian debut has signed a three-year contract with the club as reported by several outlets including Goal.com.
The 30-year-old fullback has already donned the Green and Maroon earlier and has great memories of winning the I-League trophy under Kibu Vicuna’s tutelage in 2019. Mehta will be again joining them after a year’s gap in the ISL.
He was one of the standout performers for NorthEast United last season. Mehta was solid with his tackles and was even deadly with his overlapping runs and whipping crosses. As a right-back attacking comes to him naturally and hence his attacking instincts are very sharp. His solid performances helped Khalid Jamil and his men to reach the ISL playoffs for only the second time in their club history.
The 30-year-old featured in 18 appearances in the ISL this season and he came up with a goal and two assists. He registered 62 tackles, 23 interceptions and 50 clearances and completed 426 passes. All this while setting up 22 crosses for the strikers in the penalty area.
His numbers were good even during his earlier stint with Mohun Bagan at I-League from which the Highlanders snapped him up. ATK Mohun Bagan have already handed head coach Antonio Lopez Habas the extension to take the club to greater heights in the upcoming season. While they have already signed Liston Colaco, Mehta will add more solidity to the team for the upcoming season.
Last season as Habas preferred the 3-5-2 system, the Spaniard hardly had any good wing-backs to accommodate in his system. Prabir Das had a sensational season when ATK FC won the ISL title but he has failed to live up to expectations this season. He has only one assist in 20 appearances and therefore Mehta will enjoy the role as a wing-back considering his tendency to bomb forward.